Are you a Driver, Analytical, Amiable, or Expressive person?
When I was learning about Social Styles for the first time years ago, I had no clue what they really meant, nor how they would come into play throughout my sales development career over the years. Learning your Social Style will give you the ability to improve your communication skills. While I will explain what those styles are and how they show up differently in people, for further reading, you really should check out this explanation from the Tracom Group (not an affiliate link). Additionally, not only learning what your own Social Style is helpful to you, but being able to detect the Social Style of your prospect will help you even further, as you’ll be able to anticipate how best they digest information.
What are the Social Styles and how do they differ in communication?
First let’s talk about Drivers. A driver is a person who is very much goal oriented. They want to know what is in it for them. Typically they are not “people” people, and they know what they need to know in order to get their jobs done. For a Driver, it is all about their appearances. You can usually tell within the first 30 seconds of a phone call with someone that they’re a Driver or not. They are very direct and they want facts: what,when,where, why and how. They don’t want “how is your day” or small talk, they just want to get down to brass tacks, and quickly.
Second, Analyticals, while they are not “people” people either, they want numbers and facts and they are usually quiet and reserved. What is really going through their minds? How do you approach them? Curiosity, details that's how I talk to an analytical person. They want facts, metrics, and as their name implies, analyses. As a sales development rep, be ready for them to ask you for white-papers and case studies.
How about Amiables? They are the laid back ones who typically would rather not make any decisions. Sometimes, when it comes to prospecting them, they want to agree on everything and just go with the flow. I find myself really challenged when talking to an amiable person. I have learned to take my time and while they can seem engaged with the conversation, I have to make sure they are with me 100% and not just “yes-ing” me.
Lastly, Expressives, are very much "people" people and are very engaging. They are the party people! These are my favorite and I fall into this category. Me, personally, when I am talking to a expressive person I think of what would my product or service do for them in the long run. They like to envision things, and so you really need to express what the product will do for their company in the future. My best conversations are with Expressive people because they will sit there and have a full on conversation with you; there is give and take within the dialogue and they are active participants. Plus, by the end of the call, you’re on a first name basis with them!
Years ago, when I first started this journey, I took a test that stated that I was a Driver and a little Analytical. Then a few years later I took another test, and the more recent one said I was still a driver but more on the expressive side. These tests aren’t the end all be all decrees on who you are (or who I am) as a person or sales rep, but they are helpful in figuring out how best I take in information, and how I share information with others from different styles. I think that over the years I have become able to adapt to the natural behavior of my prospects.
I have noticed that throughout my years of being an SDR, while recognizing that I am also a Driver/Expressive, has had an impact in my calling. I am ready to present my solution or service in an effective way, and let me tell you, I am very straight forward at times. Now don’t get me wrong, before I learned how to adapt to other Social Styles, my calling efforts were not always that great due to me being so direct. All I wanted was to reach that goal every week, I was driven by numbers and results. Now I still want to reach my goals but I am more adapt to picking up the different Social Styles of my prospects which gets me further in my calling efforts. Not only that but I have more of an understanding when I am in a conversation with a prospect. That understanding leads to better, overall discussions with them, and puts me in a better position to help them out.
When it comes down to these different Social Styles, learning how to pick up on what Social Style your prospect is in the first few seconds of a call can make or break that call. I have gotten off a call many of times thinking “ I could have had booked a meeting with that one if I would have just taken it in a different direction and been better prepared. Now I always have 3 or 4 different ways of taking the conversation.
What do you think? Have you ever taken a test like this to find out what Social Style you are? If so, share with me in the comments below, and let’s keep the conversation flowing! (Hey, you can’t blame me, I am an Expressive, afterall!)
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